T Nation

Sprinting Alone


#1

It's common knowledge that sprinting is an excellent conditioning tool for increasing V02max and slicing away away stubborn body fat. However, to what degree do you think it can be rated as a builder of lean mass? If someone was to build an exercise program solely around sprinting, and would eat a normal 'bulking' diet of a slight calorific excess, could that provide increases in muscular weight and physique? Or should it solely be seen as a conditioning tool for sculpting the physique already built by weights?


#2

I sprint a lot. Just solely basing your training on sprinting and then eating a "bulk" diet would not be optimal. If you eating for bulk, you also need regular weight training


#3

So the sprinting won't supply the necessary anabolic stimulus in your opinion?


#4

The VERY unadapted to exerise will build lean mass on sprinting alone but why not just do both..?
Sprinting alone is not an effective method of building mass


#5

You could build a good physique by sprinting and never lifting weights. You just have to have the genetics of Bo Jackson.


#6

sprinting wont build yr V02 max


#7

I'm sure I remember an article on T-Nation fairly recently where the author stated that if he had to choose one thing to do (exercise-wise) as the only part of his training, it would be sprinting. Something like "you'd be cut, muscular and impressive"...


#8

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#9

What is the most efficient way of doing it then?

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#10

A 400 still technically counts as a sprint and is long enough to be a VO2 max builder but the real explosive sprints of 100m or less won't do much for VO2.


#11

there was an article a few months ago that said sprinting was 9 times as effective for burning fat as steady state cardio.


#12

Cross-country skiing.

Really, just long-duration exercise where you are using mostly your aerobic system. But I have read cross-country skiers have the highest VO2 maxes.

And to the OP, do you really think you're going to get a very muscular chest, back, arms, shoulders, from the "anabolic stimulus" of sprinting? It'd be a whole lot better if you directly worked, through resistance training, your chest, back, arms, and shoulders. And legs, for that matter, but sprinting would obviously have more effect on your legs than your upper body.


#13

I'm not saying the plan would be to only do sprints and nothing else, I was just pondering what such an outcome might produce! I'm actually playing around with the ideal of 2-3 sprint sessions a week and 2-3 weight sessions too. I think this is a fairly decent balance and provided I'm getting enough calories in I should grow nicely but with minimal fat gains.


#14

Well in that case, yes sprinting is certainly a good supplement to a weight training program. If you want ideal gains you should weight train more than 2-3 times/week though.


#15

I sprint alone a lot. Other times I'll sprint with a partner.


#16

Still no FOREVER SPRINTING ALONE picture???


#17


#18

Sprinting will increase your VO2 max to some extent if the rest periods are short enough between sprints, but so will several other forms of physical training.

Speaking as a former decent distance runner, (32:08 10k cross country PR) the best way to develop a higher VO2 max from running is to run fast but under control for 2-3 minutes, then run easy for 60-100% of the time you ran fast for. Go back to running fast but under control for 2-3 minutes... and you get the point. Repeat the process 6-10 times. Obviously, this isn't something for beginners; it's not even something for most of the people who visit this site because most here either want to look strong or be strong. Having a VO2 max in the 80's is much more of an endurance thing.

As someone mentioned, world-class cross country skiers typically have extremely high VO2 maxes. I doubt they built that high VO2 max from only steady state skiing, though. They probably do a fair amount of interval training, similar to what distance runners do. Of course, I could be wrong. I have never cross-country skied, swam, or cycled competitively, so I can't be sure.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, a high VO2 max isn't the be all and end all of endurance sports, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have one.


#19

Excellent!


#20

Sprinters lift too.